[FoRK] Fwd: Hey, big spender...
J. Andrew Rogers
andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Thu Aug 28 09:13:15 PDT 2008
On Aug 28, 2008, at 6:52 AM, geege schuman wrote:
> I'd like to hear some thoughts on how we pay for way overdue
> improvements Keep in mind that improvements mean jobs.
Improvements do not mean jobs, *spending* means jobs. A distinction
with a difference.
Infrastructure is almost entirely paid for by the States, not the
Federal government. As I am sure you've probably noticed, the
organizations that do this work in many state governments are
incredibly corrupt and inefficient, often due to the stranglehold
public employee unions have on these operations. The problem is that
you are correct: the primary function of many of these organizations
*is* jobs, not building or maintaining infrastructure. We do not need
more money for infrastructure, we just need to stop wasting so much of
the money already allocated; paying blue collar guys $60/hr to be on a
perpetual smoke break produces surprisingly few results for the money
The differences in cost between public and private sector
implementation of this infrastructure can often vary by more than an
order of magnitude. In California this is the case, and in some areas
people have successfully sued to force the state to pay private
contractors to do quickly and inexpensively what was taking boatloads
of money and years with few results when the state government
infrastructure departments were responsible for it.
Infrastructure budgets have been reliable, bottomless troughs for
unions to feed at, and I would suggest imposing some accountability
there first before even considering throwing more money at it. The
majority of infrastructure budgets in many (most?) states is spent on
overhead and activities with no discernible productive output.
Unfortunately, the unions have made it impossible to eliminate all
this dead weight and so we keep throwing good money after bad. The
funding has always been there, it is just getting wasted by the
government agencies responsible.
J. Andrew Rogers
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